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Arkansas Property Division Factors

In Arkansas, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Chancery Court within the Decree of Divorce.

Arkansas is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Chancery Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Chancery Court to be fair.

The court shall distribute one-half (1/2) to each party unless the court finds such a division to be inequitable. In that event the court shall make some other division that the court deems equitable taking into consideration:  (i)  The length of the marriage;  (ii)  Age, health, and station in life of the parties;  (iii)  Occupation of the parties;  (iv)  Amount and sources of income;  (v)  Vocational skills;  (vi)  Employability;  (vii)  Estate, liabilities, and needs of each party and opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income; (viii)  Contribution of each party in acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of marital property, including services as a homemaker; and  (ix)  The federal income tax consequences of the court’s division of property. (Arkansas Code - Title 9 - Chapters: 12-315)

Since Arkansas is an "Equitable Distribution" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal." To automatically believe the marital property would be divided 50-50 would be a wrong assumption in any equitable distribution state. You can also read more about Arkansas property division in the Arkansas state statutes located at: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/.